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A Friend in Need

'Friends of ICTP' to strengthen bonds amongst ICTP community

Friends of ICTP President Joseph Niemela with ICTP Director Fernando Quevedo at the signing of an agreement between the two organizations
Friends of ICTP President Joseph Niemela with ICTP Director Fernando Quevedo at the signing of an agreement between the two organizations

17/04/2018 - Trieste

Since its opening in 1964, ICTP has hosted more than 180,000 visits of scientists coming from 188 countries. To promote a bond of friendship and connections within this unique network, ICTP is happy to announce its support of 'Friends of ICTP', an association created to aid ICTP and its mission by developing international relationships through dialogue and cooperation among scientists.

Run by volunteers who have been associated with ICTP, Friends of ICTP strives to keep the spirit of ICTP founder Abdus Salam alive, through activities ranging from networking to mentoring to offering a helping hand to visitors new to ICTP.

"Those of us with working experience at ICTP realize the importance of scientific relationships as a privileged instrument to reach wider objectives that go beyond science and comprise culture, diplomacy, and critical thinking on social challenges," said Joseph Niemela, Friends of ICTP's president and a former senior scientist at ICTP, as well as head of the Applied Physics section and the Office of External Activities. "ICTP’s long history of bringing people together from anywhere and everywhere, and letting them focus on their shared passion for science, is something we would like to build on," added Niemela.

Niemela explained that 'Friends' will also liaison with scientific societies around the world, helping ICTP further its international partnerships on projects addressing regional needs.

While the society shores up its foundations by recruiting top scientists to its international scientific council (which boasts a Nobel Laureate), it will soon begin to offer membership and a variety of activities. Key amongst its future initiatives will be sponsored prizes for early career achievements. "Such prizes can be very important in pushing ahead the careers of young scientists who can show this recognition at home," said Niemela. Workshops on various themes, including science diplomacy, are also planned, as is a welcome service for new scientists to ICTP who need informal advice on settling in.

Friends of ICTP also is interested in reaching out to young people who show extraordinary initiative, an audience that remains largely untapped by ICTP regular programmes and activities.

Although Friends of ICTP is an independent society, it will retain close ties to ICTP through its liaisons with the Centre, working in tandem to complement the scientific relationships and programmes that ICTP has built over the decades.

More information is available on the Friends of ICTP website.